Temperature patterns
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Temperature patterns

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Temperature patterns Temperature patterns Presentation Transcript

  • Temperature Patterns
  • Temperature Patterns
    • Factors Influencing Temperature Patterns
      • A number of factors influence the temperature regime of a location. The most important factors are:
        • Latitude
        • Land-Water Contrasts
        • Ocean Currents
        • Wind Patterns and Air Masses
        • Altitude
  • Factors Influencing Temperature Patterns
    • Latitude
      • Latitude is the most basic control of temperature.
      • Temperature decreases as we move away from the equator towards the poles.
      • The tropics show very little temperature change throughout the year, while mid and high latitudes experience a variation in temperature from summer to winter.
        • See figure one in the lab manual. Note the temperature patterns in January.
        • See figure two in the lab manual. Not the temperature patterns in July.
  • January July
  • Latitude
    • If latitude were the only control on temperature, isotherms would run exactly east to west parallel to lines on latitude.
    • Temperature patterns are influenced by a number of additional patterns.
  • Factors Influencing Temperature Patterns
    • Land-Water Contrasts
      • Land and water react differently to solar heating.
      • This exerts a strong influence on the atmosphere.
      • In general, land heats and cools more quickly than and to a greater extent than water.
      • The interiors will be hotter in the summer and colder in winter than maritime regions at the same latitude.
      • The ocean significantly moderates the temperatures of the coastal regions of a continent.
  • Factors Influencing Temperature Patterns
    • Ocean Currents
      • The general circulation of the ocean is a significant mechanism of global heat transfer.
      • Major surface ocean currents move warm water from the equatorial regions toward the poles, and bring cool water from the poles back toward the equator.
      • In each of the main ocean basins, warm water is moving toward the poles off the east coasts of continents, while cool water is moving toward the equator off the west coasts of continents.
  • Factors Influencing Temperature Patterns
    • Wind Patterns and Air Masses
      • In many regions of the world, the dominant wind direction strongly influences local temperature patterns.
      • For example, in the midlatitudes the dominant wind direction is from the west, meaning that air masses will tend to move from west to east.
      • As a consequence, the temperature patterns of midlatitude locations along the east coast of continents can be quite “continental” because the Westerlies can bring the seasonal warmth or cold of the interior of the continent all the way to the east coast.
    Air Masses
  • Factors Influencing Temperature Patterns
    • Altitude
      • In general, temperature decreases with increased elevation.
      • A high elevation station will have a very similar annual temperature pattern to a nearby lowland station, although the high elevation station will be consistently cooler throughout the year.
    Mt Whitney